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The apoptotic efficacy of succinic acid on renal cancer cell lines


Recently, studies on the effects of non-toxic substances on cancer prophylaxis have gained value as an alternative to existing treatment options. Current studies have shown that succinic acid or its derivatives exhibit anticancer activity by inducing apoptosis. We aimed to investigate the anticancer activity of succinic acid on renal cancer for the first time in the literature. The cytotoxic activity of succinic acid on CAKI-2 and ACHN as renal cancer cell lines and MRC-5 as a healthy cell line was determined using the WST-1 cytotoxicity test. Apoptotic activity was measured by Annexin V test and cell death ELISA kit. The results showed that 25 μM and 50 μM doses of succinic acid for 24 h remarkably reduced the cell viability for CAKI-2 cells (89.77% and 90.77%) and ACHN cells (41.57% and 54.54%). Also, no significant effect was observed on the healthy cell line, as we expected. Additionally, administration of succinic acid at same doses resulted in apoptotic activity for ACHN cells (19.1 and 12.7) and CAKI-2 cells (19.85 and 29.55). ELISA results with same doses of succinic acid treatment increased the apoptotic fragment rates by 4.7 and 2.13-fold in CAKI-2 cells, and 32.92, 12.7-fold in ACHN cells. Succinic acid is a focal point for cancer treatments not only for its apoptotic success on cancer cells but also for its capacity to be metabolically active for humans. Our results suggest that succinic acid could be a potential therapeutic agent for individual cancer treatment approaches together with further molecular research.

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The data presented in this study are available on request from the corresponding author.

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This study was supported by Istanbul University Scientific Research Committee (Grant number: 32550).

Author information




Conceptualization, GK, BE, ESI and BC; methodology, GK, BE and ESI; validation, GK and BE; formal analyses, ESI and BC; investigation, GK, BE and ESI; supervision, BC; project administration, BC. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Bedia Cakmakoglu.

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Kasarci, G., Ertugrul, B., Iplik, E.S. et al. The apoptotic efficacy of succinic acid on renal cancer cell lines. Med Oncol 38, 144 (2021).

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  • Succinic acid
  • Renal cell carcinoma
  • Apoptosis
  • Anticancer
  • Cell culture